(Xinhua) -- Kenya’s rugby head coach Innocent
Simiyu is optimistic that his team will secure a medal
at the Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Gold
Coast, Australia from April 13 to 15.
The Kenya team will face giants New
Zealand, Canada and fellow African side Zambia in Pool C
of the competition, which brings together 71 countries
and regions from six different continents which make up
“Kenya is in a tough pool but we
believe we have done our homework well and trust the
players will play with pride and impress us all. Our
key focus is to meet our performance targets
especially in attack. Hopefully we will get the
results we all want,” Simiyu said on Thursday.
Kenya needs to improve on its
performance at the Club Games having finished fourth in
Delhi, India in 2010 and in 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Kenya missed out on medals after South Africa beat the
reigning champions New Zealand in the final with
Australia and Samoa finishing third and fourth
“The team is playing well in the World
Series and we believe they still have a lot to play
for in Gold Coast,” said Simiyu.
Meanwhile, the Kenya’s women rugby
team, the Lionesses, have been drawn against Africa
opposition after the pools for the women’s rugby sevens
competitions at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold
Coast were released.
Kenya faces South Africa, New Zealand
and Canada in Pool A while Pool B has Australia, Fiji,
England and Wales. South Africa and Kenya will be the
only teams at the Commonwealth Games from the Africa
At this level of competition, there
are no easy draws. The top two teams will progress from
each pool for the semifinals.
There will be 16 men’s teams in the
competition. Unlike many events at the Commonwealth
Games, which lack top teams, in rugby it is only a step
below the Olympic Games given that only France and the
USA are missing from the world’s top ten sides in
For Africa, apart from Kenya and South
Africa, there will be no Zimbabwe, who withdrew from the
Commonwealth in 2003 and have not competed at the Games
since Manchester in 2002.
However, it will be Uganda’s fourth
consecutive participation in a rugby sevens tournament
at the Games, after they qualified for the first time at
Melbourne 2006. Zambia will make their debut appearance
in the competition.
The two nations join fellow African
countries Kenya and South Africa, who qualified due to
their World Rugby Sevens Series ranking.